Former numismatic enthusiast-turned-engineer, Tulsi, talks about the supportive culture of our Bangalore office and why his team’s work is crucial to Groupon’s success as a business.
What were you doing before joining Groupon?
I had been working in the industry for the last 18 years for companies like Akamai, Yahoo, Juniper, and Apigee. I mostly worked on building and managing products and teams. I have managed an India startup office, but after a while, I decided that that wasn’t enough. So, I started looking for a company that had the kind of culture I enjoy, like one that provides freedom of thought, recognizes the ability of people, cares about employees and constantly strives to make the environment better.
Tell us about your job! What do you do exactly? What do you love about it?
My team owns Delivery Services for Groupon which is a group of services that delivers all kinds of communication like emails, push notifications, and SMS for customers and merchants alike. Our services are one of the most critical services for Groupon. I love the responsibility of owning these services (road mapping, enhancements, design, development, deployment, and support) because our impact is easily seen in how Groupon delivers on promises. Our services are integral to the entire company. What keeps us going is knowing how much Groupon depends on us.
Where can we find you outside of work?
I used to be a numismatic (coin collector) but gave up the hobby as I got busy with work for the last several years. As a side project, I love helping people learn the data world like NoSQL, big data, and analytics.
What was your first impression of Groupon?
Groupon is a company of cool and tech-savvy people.
What do your parents think you do?
For the last 20 years, they have been seeing me with computers, yet they have no idea what it means. The interpretation is that I live with the computers because we work on them all through the day and most of the night. In fact, some of my family members and close friends call computers and work my first wife.
How does your work connect to Groupon’s mission of being the daily habit in local commerce?
My team is responsible for all communication to clients and merchants. Groupon’s entire business is dependent on communication. No communications mean no business.
What’s unique about Groupon’s Engineering culture?
I coined a term called Engineer Centric Culture for Groupon engineering. Everyone is an engineer at heart and everyone is technically sound so that the there is tremendous respect and importance for the engineer’s ability. The management team is good technically and the engineers of the company have a good connection with them. This gives engineers great freedom and openness to express their thoughts and ideas easily. Being in the industry for the last 20 years, I feel this is very important for engineers to feel comfortable in an
What’s been surprising about working here?
Every aspect is given equal importance at Groupon. Work, fun, entertainment, everything. Several activities here at Groupon help form a better connection among employees. Potlucks, sports tournaments, quarterly day outing, short weekly syncs called Hello Bangalore, just to name a few.
What’s your favorite part about your team’s software development process?
We follow the Agile philosophy in our development. We do have some simple customizations to work through because of the flexibility that is needed. The important part is that we don’t compromise on quality or delivery of the software that we build or develop.
Have you made any contributions to the tech community?
I have presented a couple of papers and do technical training on NoSQL systems and Cassandra. I have some of my presentations published on YouTube.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I am fond of singing and love old Hindi songs. I’m also a big fan of legendary Kishore Kumar.
Vim or emacs? why?
Vim ..Core Unix folks. Old school, maybe.
Name your favorite programming language.
Tabs or spaces?